Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How to Embed Your Slideshows Into Your Blog

Yesterday's post about Speaker Deck prompted a few readers to ask me about other options for embedding slideshows into blog posts. The options are different depending upon which slideshow tool you like to use. Therefore, I'm sharing methods for embedding slideshows made with the three most popular presentation tools.

Google Slides
Follow these steps to embed a Google Slides presentation into a blog post:
  1. In the Google Slides editor select "publish to the web" from the "File" drop-down menu. 
  2. Select "embed" then choose a display size. 
  3. Click "Publish" then copy the provided embed code. 
  4. Paste the embed code into your blog post as HTML (don't use "compose" mode in Blogger or "Visual" in WordPress/ EduBlogs). 

PowerPoint
To embed a PowerPoint presentation into your blog follow these steps:
  1. Your PPT file must be stored in OneDrive. 
  2. Open your PPT from OneDrive in PowerPoint online. 
  3. In the upper, right corner of the presentation open the menu for additional options then choose "embed."
  4. Choose the display size that you want to use then copy the provided embed code. 
Keynote
Keynote doesn't provide an embed code the way that Google Slides or the online version of PowerPoint does. That said, you can try following these directions to embed a Keynote presentation into your blog. This method will not work with all blogging platforms. If it doesn't work for you, you can export your Keynote to PowerPoint format and upload to SlideShare which will provide an embed code. Or you can export your Keynote to PDF and then upload it to Speaker Deck

Where Is That Summer Paycheck Going? - A Lesson for High School Students

Summer is near and for many high school students that means it's time to start working at summer jobs. For many students the first real paycheck that they receive comes with a surprise in the form of tax withholding. PBS Learning Media has a free lesson plan through which students learn about reasons for taxes being withheld from paychecks, where the withholdings go, and why some people have more or less withheld than others.

In addition to helping students understand taxes withheld from paychecks Taxes - Where Does Your Money Go? introduces students to concepts related to saving for retirements. To that end, the lesson plan includes a video about how a self-employed person handles budgeting for taxes and retirement.

Applications for Education
I'm self-employed and sometimes I'm still surprised by how much is withheld from my paycheck so I have no doubt that many students are surprised by the same. This free lesson plan could help you help your students be a little less surprised when they look at their paychecks from their part-time jobs. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

An Interactive Story Building Lesson

Word Tamer is a site for learning the process of developing characters, settings, and plots. Word Tamer is set up as an interactive journey through a carnival of literary devices. As students move through the carnival they develop characters, develop a setting, and develop a plot for their stories. At each stop in the Word Tamer carnival students can print out the words they have written. Along the way there are videos to help students understand the roles of characters, settings, and plot development in crafting a good story.

Applications for Education
I first learned about Word Tamer many years ago from Kristen Swanson. Kristen recommended Word Tamer because she thought that the narration and graphics make the site UDL-friendly. I think that Word Tamer has potential to get reluctant writers started on their way to crafting creative stories.

Google Offers a Sites Conversion Tool - Domain Admins Take Note

Whether you like it or not, Google is slowly pushing everyone who uses the old version of Google Sites into the new version. For some people this is a source of great stress and for others it's not a big deal at all. If you're a G Suite for Education domain administrator you've probably fielded a few questions about how to make the switch from the old version to the new version of Google Sites. Today, Google announced a new option for G Suite domain administrators to preview a conversion tool for Google Sites.

What today's announcement really means is that the conversion tool that has been available to some current users of classic Google Sites through Gmail accounts will become available to Google Sites users within G Suite domains. According to today's announcement the Google Sites conversion tool within G Suite domains will be available starting this week and will roll out to end users by June 19th. It's important to note that not all sites will be eligible for conversion immediately.

Those who are not using G Suite for Education, but are using Google Sites through a consumer Gmail account can convert their sites now. Watch the video that I published last month to learn how to make the conversion from the old version to the new version of Google Sites.


Learn more about Google Sites and all things G Suite in my online course G Suite for Teachers.

Speaker Deck - A Simple Way to Share Your Slides

Google Slides, PowerPoint, and Keynote all have options for embedding your slideshows into a blog post or other webpage. But there are other methods for including your slideshow in a blog post or webpage. One of those options is Speaker Deck.

Speaker Deck is a free service that you can use to host and share copies of your slides. Before you get too excited about Speaker Deck, bear in mind that it only supports embedding PDFs. The shining feature of Speaker Deck is that it will automatically re-size your PDF to fit each slide in the display that your blog visitors are using. In other words, someone viewing your slides on a phone will have the same experience as someone viewing your slides on a 15" laptop display.


To use the service you do need to create a free account. Once you have created an account you can start uploading your presentations. As mentioned above, your presentation must be in PDF format. Because Speaker Deck only supports PDFs your presentation won't play any videos, audio files, or animations.

Applications for Education
Speaker Deck is a bare-bones service, but it is easy to use and could be useful for sharing presentations that are image and text heavy. For schools that don't use Google Slides or the online version of PowerPoint, Speaker Deck provides a simple solution for publishing presentations.